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“Waiting For Godot act 1, 2 & 3”
Review of Aperto Chiuso

Aperto Chiuso
Ranked #299 of 953 Restaurants in Ghent
Cuisines: Italian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed 12 September 2013

Act 1. The pasta's you eat here are delicious, don't get me wrong!
Now act 2: Yesterday we came in at opening time 18:30 with our 2 kids (4 and 7) and were looked upon as aliens. We were the first customers in. We ordered right away and had to wait 1h15 for our 4 main courses (no starters ordered).
So at 20:00 we were finished. The restaurant was full and we requested the bill. Godot act 3 opened.
My god. Owner of this place: your business is completely understaffed!! 2 in the kitchen and 2 serving 60-70 eaters. Please do something about it. Your food & atmosphere are great! Don't flush this place to the next GÖk nr 7 !

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1  Thank TomH_Ghent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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13 - 17 of 67 reviews

Reviewed 11 December 2012

Small restaurant (you need to make a reservation during the weekend) with an open kitchen. The menu consist of mainly pasta dishes, with fresh made pasta. Nothing too fancy, but the known classic dishes; carbonara, gorgonzola, mushrooms,... There are a few daily suggestions too.
We had execellent bruschetta (you get to pick 4 toppings), followed by pasta (rotolo di verdure and pasta carbonara) and dessert ( a very heavy tiramisu and semifreddo) and coffee. Nothing you didn't allready eat elsewhere, but what they serve is fresh and the flavours are perfect.
Mind you they don't accept credit cards which can be a bit of a nuisance.

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Thank josiewitchgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2012

This restaurant gained considerable notoriety some 5 years as a cozy artisan place for great Italian food. Popularised by hip Gent folk it achieved a status of 'the place to be' and indeed some of the previous reviews reflect this over the years.

So it was with this in mind that my considerably better half decided to book it last night for a cozy get together with another couple of friends.

The first disappointment was the menu. Pasta. Only pasta. Not great given that both my considerably better half and I are both hypoglycaemic and can't eat wheat. On previous visits, the menu had pasta AND meat and fish courses, with plenty to choose from for food allergy sufferers.

Let me point out here that despite our hypoglycaemia, we are by no means picky eaters! We can get by in just about any eatery. 1 item on the menu was doable, a spicy lentil pot. Sold out. So the troubles began. It's 8PM on Saturday, and 3 main courses were already 'off'. Including 2 of the evening's specials, and the only other dish that wasn't pasta. (note to restaurant - people are not coming to your place to eat pasta).

While reading the menu, we saw that they didn't accept payment with cards, not any kind of cards. Now you need to recognise that in Gent and in most places in Belgium you can pay with a card everywhere, in the news agent, the night shop. It is extremely rare that a card with not suffice... even if all they accept is a local Belgian debit card, card in pocket, you are usually good to go. So after the 'menu shock', I needed to leave the group for half an hour to get cash. The restaurant is a little bit off the beaten track, so they know that guests can't just pop out to the ATM next door. Half an hour!

Serious advice to the restaurant - tell people when they phone to book that they need to bring cash. It will take 10 seconds.

First course... Vegetable soup. Well made with fresh ingredients, cabbage, beans, tomatoes. But it lacked taste. I ended up putting parmesan cheese in it. Oddly, the bread came in a basket with parmesan cheese grated in to a pot, odd combo, but it came in handy! The bread we had to ask for... 3 people at the table eating soup for the first course and no bread... in an Italian restaurant, go figure... anyway.

Long wait for the first course, then another long wait for the main course. I ordered the only thing on the menu I could eat, Melanzane. This was also served as a starter, which the non soup eating friend of ours had for her first course. The main course version, which of course cost more money, was the same size portion but served with a salad. Salad! It's late November and wet and cold outside and they're serving salad! To boot, the salad had raw chunks of cauliflower in it! Having travelled extensively in Italy over the last 20 years, this I never saw.

The main course was nothing special, can't even remember how it tasted this morning when I woke up.

Then dessert. All the usual Italian sweeties on the menu, but not much use for me, so I asked if they had any cheese. 'No' was the simple answer. Not any questions or any other level of interest surrounding my enquiry, just... 'no'. So I skipped dessert and took a Grappa instead with an expresso. Coffee was luke warm, Grappa was generous but cheap and flavourless.

Then came a very long wait for the bill. In the end we had to go to the counter to ask for it. Even that seemed a great encumbrance.

The only highlight of the evening was the house wine. A Temante which for 22EUR was great value and very enjoyable.

In sum; very bad and limited menu that runs out very quickly. Long waits for every step of the evening. No service whatsoever, no help with choosing, no checking to see how you are, nothing. Bland food. Bright, not cozy, not warm, not friendly and difficult to pay. Doesn't take cards, so if you haven't been before you can take a nice walk before you leave or may be that's why they leave so much time between courses, so you can nip to the ATM.

I left feeling hungry and tired. The whole experience took 4 hours and cost 40EUR each. Given that this was 2 courses for 2 and 3 courses for 2, plus 22 EUR for wine and 1 grappa. We could have very easily spent 250EUR in total and had pretty much the same experience.

Conclusion? This seems to be 1 of those sad 'fallen angel' stories. A great resto that lost its way or its ability to care, or both. We won't go back and given that it was my considerably better half's favourite resto for a long time, is quite an indictment. Sorry Aperto Chiuso, there are at least 1000 restaurants in Gent, wake up. At least now I know where they get their name from, are they open or are they closed... must be a daily dilemma. I can suggest some new names 'Trading on a Long Gone Reputation' or 'Can't be Bothered Anymore' or 'Cash Cow'.

As an aside, there is no website for this place, so none of the above you can know in advance.

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2  Thank BelgianNML
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2010

Only three and a half stars, where must these people eat? Undeterred by not being able to get a table on the night, we persisted and booked and had a meal well worth the wait. We ate bruschetta, pasta and salad - sounds mundane, but all freshly prepared and imaginatively presented. The best ravioli I have ever eaten, (and being a veggie I've eaten mountains of pasta) silky cushions of pasta with a fresh spinach and pesto filling, luxoriating in a pool of melted butter and fried sage. Generous portions meant we had to pass on the zabaglione being whisked up for some other lucky diners.

Relaxed ambiance of old art deco furnished store in a neighbourhood packed with turkish restaurants (also worth a visit).

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Thank dbuckner2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 April 2009

What started as a great dining experience, turned out into a big disappointment! After a hard day at work, we arrived at 20u35 in what was quite a crowded place. We got a table at the back, away from the noisy dining place in front, close to the terrace outside, but also close to the noisy dishwasher. But that thing has to go somewhere, right? The brushetta's were delightfull. Fresh ingredients, crispy and tasty. Then the scallopa Milanese came, with fresh pasta and a nice tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes in it. Delightful in taste, maybe a bit small portion. The pasta al ragu my girlfriend had was also great. Made you wonder how the "Kastart" ever got famous. Nice bottle of wine, everybody happy. But then things went wrong. After quite a bit of effort to get the waitresses attention, we finally got the menu to pick our dessert and she managed to clear the table. Another 15 minutes before we got it. Tiramisu and vanilla ice cream. Tiramisu was quite good, but since I don't eat or drink anything with coffee, I wouldn't know. The ice cream on the other hand was the worst I've ever eaten. Seriously. Watery in taste, with ice crystals in it, I've had better ice cream from "Aldi". Appearantly the waitresses had seen me not finishing my ice cream, because none of them seemed interested in clearing our table. Again we had to do our best to get the waitresses attention (apparently the glasses from the dishwasher were way more important than us), she brought the bill, collected the money and made sure not to ask anything about the food and not make anymore contact than necessary. We didn't even have the opportunity to say anything about the lousy dessert. The half melted ice cream was still on the table, the lonely reminder of a bad ending, to what started as a great tasting experience.

1  Thank tderoeck
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual contributor and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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